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3 scientists win Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work on lithium-ion batteries

Photo: Naina Helen Jama/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images

3 scientists received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on lightweight lithium-ion batteries on Wednesday.

Why it matters: "Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized our lives since they first entered the market in 1991. They have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society, and are of the greatest benefit to humankind," states the award announcement.

The winners:

  • M. Stanley Whittingham of the State University of New York at Binghamton first developed the technology in the 1970s, and his work resulted in the first functional lithium battery.
  • John B. Goodenough of the University of Texas at Austin "doubled" the battery's potential and helped make it more powerful.
  • Akira Yoshino of Japan's Meijo University eliminated the lithium in the battery to make it safer for more practical use.

Go deeper: 3 scientists win Nobel Prize in physics for work with exoplanets, cosmology